ITIL Rapid Process Implementation: CSI is a Verb!

I’d rather drop a bowling ball on my tongue than endure another marathon meeting about the target maturity level of an ITIL process!

If you find yourself muttering colorful metaphors when you’d rather be doing ITIL process work, this article is for you.

Analysis Paralysis

I hear a lot of discussion when it comes to ITIL and Service Management. What processes should I start with? How much to implement? What level of maturity should we shoot for? Does it make sense to target ISO 20000 certification?

Too much time spent talking about Service Management theory, and too little time doing it. Don’t get me wrong. Those who know me can attest –  I love to talk about theory, but with all due respect…. it’s a waste of time. Why?

Start Small

Because every journey starts with the first step. All ITIL process implementations start in exactly the same spot – where you are right now. Where do we want to be? Well…  ‘over there’ <points to the ITIL process documentation>. And there you have it – your implementation road map. Now get started!

But before I loose my Service Management credibility completely , let me add: The devil is in the details; the path between here and there. But if we keep the simple picture in mind, we can move much faster toward the end goal.

CSI is a Verb

I was in such a conversation one time when it dawned on me that a colleague was using CSI (Continual Service Improvement) as a verb (a word that conveys action)…. as in… “Implement a basic process, and then CSI it to where we need it.”  To her, it was that simple. Stop talking about the perfect, ultimate process, and start working toward it now.

Start by implementing a basic ITIL process, and then CSI it to the goal.

Directionally Correct

As in navigation, the most important thing to know is where you’re going. With that direction set, it’s pretty easy to know what to do next…. take a step in that direction. Think of it as a set of guard rails. As long as you’re aiming between the “directionally correct” guard rails, you’re good. ITIL: CSI is a Verb

When you’ve taken one step, take a look around to see where you’re at, re-validate the goal and make any course corrections, and then take another step from a potentially adjusted set of guard rails.

The size of the step is unique to each situation. Each step should produce visible incremental value to the business. As long as each step produces Value to the Business and is moving toward the goal, you’re on the right path.

Each time you take a step, you’ll have a much better idea of where you’re going and what you’re up against. The view from two steps out is better than at the beginning, and it keeps getting clearer the further you go.

Gather Momentum

Picture a large steel ball sitting still. It takes a lot of energy to start it rolling, but once it’s rolling, it’s much easier to steer it’s direction. It’s the same with organizational change. The hardest thing to do is to get moving.

So, get started. In any reasonable direction. Once you have some momentum, it’s much easier to steer it in the needed direction.

Keep it Going

Don’t waist unnecessary energy engineering the ultimate next step and loose momentum. Once you have it, do everything to keep it moving. Use CSI to course-correct until you get to where you’re going.

Get Started!

While there’s no debating that good planning and preparation are important, I see greater risk from over planning than from under. This isn’t rocket science  – it’s best practices that are well documented and widely implemented. Don’t be afraid of taking a wrong step. Get started, and CSI it until you get where you’re going.

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Celebrate success along the way, and keep CSI’ing!